Charlotte’s Web-Charlotte Tilbury Comes to Honolulu

I’ve been intrigued by the Charlotte Tilbury brand having read about the products in mags and getting an occasional sample from mainland beauty buy bags.

Sidebar-when a salesperson treats giving you a sample like the sample is very special and limited like Revive, it feels more special. And maybe just maybe I’ll actually do the little pin prick thing in the corner and use it a drop at a time.

Hah. Who am I kidding?

Generally speaking I use the most of the packet on the first try, I figure I’ll give it a good try the first round.  If it doesn’t pass muster I put it on my feet.

Anyway.

Nords opened with much fanfare near Bloomies. The make up area is more like Sephora with alleyways by product lines and a strip of stations in the center with weekly make up artist picks. Overall it’s pretty cool.

Walking around the first day, I spied the Charlotte Tilbury counter-I was immediately drawn to the palettes since I just dumped 3-4 shadow palettes I was bored with or I decided were too old (6 months) to use anymore without risking infection.

Er-or that’s just an excuse. I know people keep powder shadow for years.

Makeup artists trying color product on the backs of their hands is a pretty useless exercise. Unless the person is your sib with the same coloring-what’s the point?

Texture is kind of hard to convey as well. But I told the artist my pet peeve is powders with a lot of fall out.

I’m in the habit of doing my face before eyes, so going back for a do over to take off stray powder is not going to happen.  If it’s a big make up day, I put my eyes on first then foundation.

Otherwise, I don’t have the time.

The Luxury Palette, Sophisticate is pretty neutral and not much different than what Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier offer.  The colors; prime, enhance, smoke and pop are numbered-which for me, is the way I would put them on; base, eye socket, corner and I haven’t figured out what do with pop since it’s a brown with not a lot of personality. It will probably just be one of those leftover colors.

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I’m the kind of shopper that does not buy on impluse. Rather I like to think about it and really I don’t read reviews very often.  I went back a few weeks later after yearning for the palette overcame me and ended up buying a lipstick, gloss and a eye shadow pencil on presale thinking or was impressed upon that the beauty event was going to be something special with a crappy bag filled with deluxe samples.

Instead, I was very disappointed in Nords. I am disappointed with Nords beauty bags. Unless you buy online, the Hawaii store only gives you a crappy make up bag. I guess I look disappointed because the salespeople usually throw in a couple of samples but it’s pretty pathetic.

Anyway.

Post facto I checked out the reviews on her products–I have to agree that the eye shadow stick is pretty meh.  I’ve used it as accent which is ok, but as a primer base it slides off my lids making all of the shadow fade prematurely.

The Sophisticate Luxury palette shadows are highly pigmented and go on smoothly with the right brushes, but I have to say they fade over the course of the day and I do not have greasy lids so it’s the product.

The lipstick is probably the best of the lot.  The Stoned Rose color is a coral brown and has good staying power.  The gloss is pretty but I don’t wear gloss much so….

Checking out how to use the palette online-CT’s own vids are pretty meh. The vids that bloggers post are much better using the colors as base and accent interchangeably.

Would I buy CT again? Probably not.

Check this out–really? Who wants lashes like this? Looks like a mascara nightmare.https://youtu.be/Rsc1qYcNnuo

K

Down to the Last Nub-Laura Mercier Brow Pencil v Clinique Super Fine Liner

You know something is seriously good when you use it down to the last itty bitty bit.

Much like scraping the bottom of a good bowl of chocolate pudding-it’s so good.

My brows and I had a rocky relationship for years before I met brow artist Stacie at Marsha Nadalin. Pre-Stacie, my brows were hideously lop-sided with one arch much much higher than the other.

Anyway.

I didn’t really think about brow make up either. I’m pretty sure I never thought about my brows until Jamie formerly of Bobbie Brown counter in NM, showed me how to use Mahogany eye shadow for my brows.

In any case, I graduated to Laura Mercier’s Brow Powder which comes in a duo pallette of a lighter and darker shade.  For me it’s pretty easy, because I don’t like to spend a lot of time on brows-just dab my brush into each color and slap it on!

Searching for the easiest, I also bought LM’s eye brow pencil in Blonde – which is an ashy brown color, because you know, blondes don’t go around with blonde eye brows unless they wear no make up. Neither do brunettes wear just brown color.

There’s nothing particularly special about the pencil itself, but when you compare it to others-the color and smoothness win out above others.

If people looked at their eyebrows in the sun, then a good number of them would realize that the Maybelliene  (sp) generic brown is actually a red-brown and looks odd in the sunlight. Or, people opt for black which is just too black.

We are having a brow moment in probably one of the last frontiers that cosmetic companies have to exploit in the search for perfection. L’Oreal has a number of products from pencil to products that make your hairs look bushier and echo Brooke Shields sun visor brows.

I like a fine arch-but not too thin.

I was with my Mom-shopping at the Clinique counter, and knowing that I had about 2 inches left of my LM, thought I’d try the Superfinerliner brow color from them.

I didn’t use it right away-but when I did, I thought the color is fine but there is one product defect that makes it impossible.

Much like a No 1 soft-lead pencil that I love to use, the thin thin thinniness of the products breaks under the solid grip of pressure that I use.

Really it’s not that bad, and of course I am exaggerating, but I get out a few strokes and it breaks.

There are a number of these 1/8 nibs of brow color here and there in my make up kit, on my vanity on the bathroom floor-(horrors) – the product is just too brittle.

So, I am back to the nub.

Actually I just bought a new LM brow pencil that comes with a spoolie brush on the end which is more than I need as well.

Maybe I can use it to rake through my eyelashes?

k

Those Little Samples Are For Sale-Sephora

Have you noticed lately that Sephora is selling the same deluxe samples that used to come with gwps?

I get that everybody needs to make dinero-but part of the fun was to get samples!

I’m not really into getting a sample of product that has had a bunch of germy fingers dipped in because some people don’t obey cosmetic etiquette. You know what I mean.

Those people who dip their fingers into jars, across eye shadow and actually apply lip color from the tube!

Seriously could anything be more gross?

They’ve done studies on how many of the super ick germs find their way into make up displays.

You know I used to be a ready participant in getting a free makeover at the counter-but the more germaphobic I get the less interested I am. I might put on a color on my wrist and wipe off with alcohol at the most nowadays.

Anyway.

Sephora used to go pretty good samples for VIB ladies and they were usable. But don’tcha hate the samples that are just a whisper of product? Like Skinceuticals Eye SPF. I know eye product is applied the size of a pea, but when I get a sample like that, I have to really be jonsing to try it to use the manini sample.

I’ve been buying product from Neostrata and Lovelyskin.com the last few times for skincare. I think Neostrata is really generous with the size and the amount of the samples, but so far nothing to write home about. Lovelyskiin sent me the Skinceuticals sample which is not their fault, but they don’t really have great samples to select from at checkout.

Lovelyskin.com does have a cool comparison table that you can see how different products stand against each other. I used it to choose an eye product last month.

So Sephora take a note-I’m giving you the bulk of my beauty dollars in the quest for the 500 point perks (really I paid $500 for those mini’s of Laura Mercier)?, so how’s about show your customers some love with better samples?

K

 

Beauty Illusion-Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eye Shadow

Usually I run away from the Chanel counter-I have set my own limits for what I am willing to pay for any given product.

But lately I have noticed that Bobbi Brown really raised her prices–Laura Mercier probably has too, but her products still stand in the light of I love them so much I buy them anyway.

Bobbi on the other hand–it’s just too expensive—maybe get a lower paid spokesperson?

Anyway.

I threw out my old Bobbi cream shadows because I realized it has been years since my fav makeup artist Jamie T left Neiman Marcus and had a baby who must be 3-4 years old.

So what does that mean?

HA HA More room for new stuff!!!!!!

I like eye shadow pallettes and I don’t know if it was on QVC or where-but I saw a Bobbi pallette that intriqued me. But I went to her site and it’s not there so…whatevs.

I like a particular purply shimmery brown ish color.  I had it in Bobbi and I think she called it Black Opal in her cream shadows.

I was cruising Macy’s waiting for the bf to do his clothes shopping (which literally takes hours), and saw the color I love at the Chanel counter in their D’Ombre line.

I try not to lead salespeople on by trying on something I have zero intention of buying. But this day I was in the buying mood and the woman who helped me was less the brand’s attitude if you get my meaning.

She tried every color in the line on her hand and asked if I wanted to try it on.

I would only say yes if she opened a brand new shadow but of course they don’t. If you read about the amount of bacteria in sample testers you wouldn’t either.

Some people have no problem with spreading germs all over everywhere including the creams and shadows at ANY make up counter or store.

As we say in Hawaii-pi-lau- pronounced pee-lauw.

Ick.

Anyway back to the review. I bring the product home which I have yet to really try on my skin-and I open it with the kind of reverence you pay to Chanel. I was surprised to find that the shadow is creamy-yet it’s a powder at the same time.

I put it on with a brush in pretty light layers-then I take my Laura Mercier blending brush(like a stipler) and blend it down.  I take a little light brown matte color from Bobbi and blend that in.

It’s a little more color than I usually wear-but I really like the Chanel shadow and will probably buy more. It would be cool if they offered it in a little less shimmery formula which wears better on older lids.

But between my Fresh Black Tea Extract Serum and my Shiseido Benfiance eye creams-my crepey lids and those extremely annoying horizontal lines have faded especially the crepiness.

k

 

Nakeds 3-In Search of STRANGE

My disclaimer is I have never purchased any of the Nakeds pallets-beautiful as they are-they always looked like more than enough. Instead I go off and I buy palettes that the colors immediately catch my eye and fall in love with at first site like Laura Mercier’s spring palette last year.  Even so, I only use the light blue color in that palette on the center of my lid to open it up-the other colors are too-too.  It looked to me like that was the palette used on J Lo in the American Idol’s season premiere where she wore the controversial blue dress. I thought she looked stunning and her make up was flawless(as always), which started a discussion with the bf who said-no, she’s pretty naturally. Just like Stevie Nicks and Jennifer Anniston-all natural beauties with or without make up.

Yeah right.

I love the bf because he is so pollyanna and I am so the skeptic. Even when I googled-J Lo without makeup-his response was-that must have been a bad day for her.

What-ever.

Anyway.

My girlfriend did buy the Nakeds 3 palette, but wasn’t using it so she lent it to me to check out. The colors applied to your face are always different than when applied to the hand-of course.

I used 2 of the mattes, Strange and Limit and used the darkest color, Blackheart, to make a slightly smoky eye. Looked nice.

Strange was better than the Laura Mercier Guava I use–lately I had noticed that Guava didn’t look so good on my lids as they are getting a little crepey.

So I decided to search for Strange in a single pallette-which of all the millions of colors Urban Decay has to offer, they don’t offer in a singlet.

Next step-find a similar color in another line.

I find it amazing that the salespeople for the various lines, are not so passionate about makeup that they DO NOT check out other lines.

Seriously, I went to 4 counters in Nords-and none of the ladies had more than a conceptual idea about the Nakeds 3 palette.

I subsequently went to Macys.  I took a big thick swipe of Strange from the Nakeds 3 palette and walked around the various counters.

I was thinking that Stila or Benefit might have a matte color, nope.

Went to Chanel and Dior, I knew Clinique would not have anything.  I don’t really like the colors at Estee Lauder or Shiseido. Lancome did have something very similar in a pallette, but I didn’t swipe to compare.

Got to the Bobbi Brown counter-but they must have been out to lunch. Bobbi is known for her natural colors and indeed I found a replacement in Shell.

Shell/Strange is a pale matte beige pink-it doesn’t read pink on the eye, nor does it shimmer like Guava.  It’s the perfect base color for my aging lids as it brightens my eye without calling attention to the skin quality.

Perfection.

k

What I Really Really Want! Foundation that matches my skin!

It really bugs me when purchasing foundation in any form – tinted moisturizer, powder compact, creme compact, foundation stick, liquid and any other gyration, and it doesn’t work for me once i head out the store.

My pet peeve is when the makeup artist projects their desire to be tan and sells me foundation that is too dark.

Only to be topped by my other peeve – that even in the best stores, the lighting is terrible and you can’t see that the color doesn’t work, before you plunk down your hard earned cash!

(The exception to the lighting issue is the Mac company store.  Customers have their foundation applied in such gorgeous light – how can you possibly be mismatched? All in the pursuit of a flawless, usually matte visage’).

I’ve been pretty lucky with Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier foundation color – but mostly because I advocate for my self since my former beloved Bobbi rep left almost 3 years ago to pursue a career in nails and brows – after that, the remaining salespeople never really convinced me they were trying to find the best colors and products for me. Every time I would go to the counter and the colors I bought from them like lipsticks and eye shadows have bit the dust or I gave them to my friends.

I constantly read about the raves for Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer and having had myself “matched” and given the color sand – I just couldn’t make it work.

Love love love LM’s Radiance Primer-and finally found using a light dusting of her powder compact foundation was the best solution.

But I just couldn’t give up the search – the quest for the perfected tinted moisturizer in the fabled line.

So, I recently packed for a trip, and somehow my dop kit full of make up is reduced to a small box about 1/3 the size.  Mostly because I break out the samples.

In the last NM bag, I got a sample of LM tinted moisturizer which I tossed off because I thought it was the same sand color that doesn’t really work.

Unbelievably the color in the sample tube is perfection! Now I believe when others gush about LM.

Anyway–the perfect color on the face is the one that matches your skin, but makes you look a bit better.  I don’t really like a truly flawless face, tho for a big night out it works. But what I’m really getting at is some people don’t realize that their foundation has become really gray on their skin, or has caked.

I know easy is well easy, but when your face is the first thing people see, then well…why wear powder foundation if it dries and crackles, or mineral powder that turns gray, or pink foundation when your undertone is yellow.

Oh well.

k

Bat My Eyes! Clinique High Impact Extreme Mascara

The BF and I have a little deal.  He uses the Super Defense SPF 25 EVERYDAY to protect his blue eyed self, and I look for a Clinique gift with purchase so I can get the freebies.

As a side note, don’t you just hate it when you’re like $4 away from the gift threshold and you end up buying $20 more of something you don’t really need? Afterall you can only have so many pencil sharpeners – though Laura Mercier’s is superior.

Anyway.

I am the queen of lazy when it comes to putting on more than one coat of mascara so my mascara has to do it in one application, and I mean one short application.  Instead of brushing and brushing and coating each lash, I pretty much do 5-6 brushes, while pulling my lashes upward.  I skip the lower lashes. I skip curling them.

I’m not a mascara conniseur like some of my friends, but I am open to trying something new. For the most part, I get so many sampler tubes, I really don’t have to buy mascara – but I end up buying to get to the gift threshold.

Over the years my favs were Great Lash, Mac’s False Lashes, L’Oreal’s Voluminize, Bobbi Brown’s Party Lash (?), Cliniique couple of different formulas. And many many more.

But as a marketing person I think it’s funny that the Clinique ad agency must have sat there and said to themselves,  how many adjectival adverbs can I use in the product name?

The product is a performer. It only takes a couple of sweeps to get the product taking your lashes to new heights of length and volume.  For me that means, fat and long at the same time.

The only thing is- the formula is very liquid-y so it’s easy to smear it, and it kind of builds up on the brush. And the brush is so fat, it doesn’t work well on lower lashes.

There you go—now you have to buy their bottom eyelash mascara with the special brush to get the gift.

Great product, but seriously, why not just make a mascara with two brushes on the ends for upper and lower?

k

Laura Mercier Eye Shadow Primer

I’m not sure why, or maybe it’s just genetics, but I see more and more small veins on my eyelids.  I’ve read as skin gets older the skin thins, and eyelids are skin, so…

I like to wear a Guava eye shadow from Laura Mercier.  It’s a sheer, peachy kind of color that brightens my lids without a lot of color.

Of late, I’ve noticed that the veins are getting harder to cover, so I decided to revisit eye shadow primer.  I had purchased “Linen” from LM, but I decided it made my eyelids too white pinkish and instead used it for my Halloween Zombie make up on my face!  It was pretty scary!

Consulting another makeup artist at NM, she suggested I used the Wheat color-totally makes sense because it matches my complexion and covers the veins but doesn’t change the color of my lids. So, my eye shadow has a truer base to start from.

The older I get the less makeup I use on my eyes-seems like I spend more time camouflaging   .

Maybe I should check out Dr. Tantisira’s fractional laser – I’ve talked to her before and her skin is flawless-no foundation whatsoever.  She does a pre-regimen of sunscreen applied 3-times daily a month prior to procedure and in some cases a melanin-prohibiting cream.

I’m a late adopter in most things – I’m still using an iPhone 3GS – am I sliding into the future?

I wish I may, I wish I might, see flawless skin, smooth and tight!

Oh well.

k

Shimmer vs Radiance – Laura Mercier

I really like Laura Mercier’s approach to foundation- go for a flawless look but still natural.

Coming of age in the 90-s, I sported the matte, powdered-mask look using Lancome’s Dual-Finish, dark-brown-red lips, neutral eye.

And of late, more beauty magazines are suggesting women who are older use a lighter hand – especially when it comes to foundation for everyday looks.

The last LM make up artist event I purchased the radiance primer and tinted moisturizer liquid creme.

I do like the look-but I think the tinted moisturizer doesn’t really work for me.

However, I did combine the radiance primer, with Lancome ‘s silicon based primer over it, powdered a little with Make Up Forever’s HD Powder, and I think I found a better combination for me.  The silicon primer smooths out the edges without adding color, and the powder takes it all down a notch. For a more perfected look, I use my foundation brush and dab a little bit of Bobbi Brown’s foundation stick under my eyes, my nose and around my mouth and blend like crazy.

The other day, I picked up a sample of LM’s Illuminating tinted moisturizer.

Put on by itself, it brightens my complexion significantly-today I put on the regular tinted moisturizer over it, followed by the silicon primer and powder.

Tomorrow I think I will use it like the radiance primer, and top it off with the silicon primer, foundation stick and powder.

Stay tuned!

k

 

 

Light Up My Life – Laura Mercier “Guava” Eye Shadow

I had a photo shoot the other day and was looking to pick up a few tips from the make up artist, Dorys Foltin of Maleana Cosmetics.

I had already been searching for a light natural almost skin color eye shadow to use as a base-and watching the makeup artist apply light colors to the lids of my talent, I was very impressed by how much it brightened the whole eye area.

Much more exciting for me because I got the current NM beauty bag by purchasing Laura Mercier’s eye shadow stipling brush, guava eye shadow and the new Kiehl’s fragrance in Orange and Lychee.

The color looks so beautiful under the store lights and on my lids – it really looks darker here- but when I put it on my lids without primer-it almost matches my skin but somehow makes it look brighter and my eyes don’t recede as much!  (Loving the stipling brush too!)

I love a natural look for day – some radiant primer, tinted moisturizer, guava shadow and a chocolate-ly eyeliner!

I spoke to LM’s Global Make Up artist Luis Soto about the current trend of Cinema Noir-you remember those gorgeous black and white photos of the film stars before “talkies”.

I love that LM has added videos too!  Check them out on their youtube channel!

k